The Music Goes Quiet At Yamaha's U.S. Plants

Plants to close in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Thomaston, Ga; and Buena Park, Calif.

Musical instrument manufacturer Yamaha said it will close three subsidiaries of Yamaha Corp. of America (YCA), including Yamaha Musical Products, Inc. (YMP), Grand Rapids, Mich.; Yamaha Music Manufacturing, Inc. (YMM), Thomaston, Ga; and Yamaha Exporting, Inc. (YEI), Buena Park, Calif.

The closing of the YCA and YMP facilities will result in the loss of almost 380 jobs, about 190 employees from each plant. The closures will cost Yamaha approximately $11 million.

The five YEI employees will be transferred to YCA.

Yamaha said the plant closings will strengthen the competitiveness of the company's musical instrument business through the reorganization of its global manufacturing network.

The YMP plant in Grand Rapids, which produces wind instruments and had sales of $30 million in 2006, is scheduled to close at the end of April, 2007. To make up for the plant shutdown, Yamaha will increase production of wind instruments at its plants in China, Indonesia and Japan.

The Thomaston YMM plant, where pianos and speakers are manufactured, will close by the end of March 2007. The business had sales of $34 million in 2006. Yamaha's piano production will be increased at its facilities in China and Taiwan. Speaker production will be added to Yamaha's plants in Indonesia, and will be continued through subcontractors in the U.S.

The export business operations of YEI, which had sales of $21 million in 2006, will be merged with the parent company YCA, when the Buena Park operations are suspended by the end of March, 2007.

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